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treeswarper
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PostSun Dec 04, 2016 7:17 am 
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CC wrote:
our supply of darn-close-to-interesting information about chainsaws is apparently inexhaustible.

OK, since I dared to bore you, I shall delete it all.  This was a fairly polite discussion until now.

Deleting begins Done.  No more boring stuff on here.

I would like to know, from RodF, if pack animals were used to get equipment in for the chainsaw crews, since this has not been discussed other than being a pain, using helicopters, and starting down a slope to eventually end the world.

Does ONP use pack animals to get equipment in?

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RodF
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PostMon Dec 05, 2016 7:32 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Does ONP use pack animals to get equipment in?

Yes.  Olympic NP owns about two dozen pack mules and employs a seasonal packer.  However, realize that pack mules can only get in as far as the trail has already been cleared, and only about half the Park's trails are passable to stock by the end of each trail work season. 
Larry Lack, Olympic NP Trails Supervisor wrote:
All of the trails in the park were originally built by and for stock. Since then the Park Service has allowed them to deteriorate to one degree or another, some to the point that they aren’t even stock trails anymore.

So sawyers have to work ahead of the pack support, and on many trails without pack support. 

Park trail crews typically work a two week shift: 10 days on, 4 days off.  The first day is hiking in, with pack support, as far as the trail has previously been cleared and setting up camp.  The packer then leaves to support other crews elsewhere.  After about 3 or 4 more miles of trail have been cleared, to reduce the daily "commute time" spent hiking, the entire camp has to be moved forward without pack support. 

So pack mules sure help, especially on longer trails where the work site may already be 10, 15 or 20 miles from a trailhead.  But the reality is still that,  even with pack support, trail crews carry their equipment the full length of the trail, as they work ahead of the packers. 

The big advantage of pack support is that they don't have to also pack full camp provisions, food and tools in from the trailhead or back out again, which would double or triple the time required.  This is especially important with footlogs or footbridges must be placed, or large rootballs removed, which can require hundreds of pounds of cable, grip hoists, chains, blocks, etc.  Each mule can pack about 150 pounds a dozen miles a day, which would require three trail crew acting as sherpas.  So it's a huge help.

Sorry I didn't answer your question earlier.  I don't understand why some who apparently aren't interested in this topic bother to read it or complain ithey aren't interested.   wink.gif

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treeswarper
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PostMon Dec 05, 2016 9:25 am 
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Thank you.

Our FS District, due to the usual budget cutting, had to rid themselves of the pack mules.  I think they went to the Okanogan NF.  I do not believe there are any left on the GPNF so the Back Country Horsemen fill in and also do most of the chainsaw opening of the non-motorized trails where legal.  Quite a few of the lower elevation trails are shared with dirt bikers and those folks often strap a chainsaw on the back of their bike on the first entry after snow melt and do independent trail work.

I could post a video (a rerun) that I made about 10 years ago of cutting blowdown out of a road after a microburst had knocked over trees, but it would probably be too boring.  For those of you who haven't dealt with blowdown, it is a whole different ball game than regular bucking of logs.

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Kim Brown
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PostMon Dec 05, 2016 9:45 am 
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I think I can speak for anyone who has done trail work with PCTA, WTA, SCA, MTS Greenaway, etc. that we know full well what it's like to clear a jackstraw of old growth or younger trees  from the trail.  up.gif

With cross cut saws. And the accoutrements necessary.

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treeswarper
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PostMon Dec 05, 2016 12:07 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
I think I can speak for anyone who has done trail work with PCTA, WTA, SCA, MTS Greenaway, etc. that we know full well what it's like to clear a jackstraw of old growth or younger trees  from the trail.  up.gif

With cross cut saws. And the accoutrements necessary.

So that includes everybody on this thread, right????  Sure????

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Kim Brown
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PostMon Dec 05, 2016 12:45 pm 
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Pretty much, yeah.

Those who haven't done any sawing don't know what "just" a bucking job is, so your video of clearing not-so-old-growth (NSOG) jackstraw with the luxury of just  being on a road won't give them a frame of reference.

But why not post it anyway. Those who don't want to see it don't have to watch it.

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IdahoHyker
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PostSat Dec 10, 2016 11:08 am 
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Enjoy the discussion.  The "chainsaw" vs the "crosscut" test is very informative and I believe goes to the heart of the issue, that is, can we live with "some chainsaw use in the wilderness" for the added efficiency.

Two questions:
1)  Does the NPS in fact use chainsaws as a matter of daily trail maintenance?

and 2)  If so, why can or do we live with them using chainsaws in the same wilderness covered by the same Wilderness Act as all the other agencies?
Actually three questions:  3)  If the NPS does in fact use chainsaws regularly for trail maintenance, has "their" wilderness been damaged due to that use?
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RodF
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PostSat Dec 10, 2016 1:38 pm 
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IdahoHyker wrote:
I believe goes to the heart of the issue, that is, can we live with "some chainsaw use in the wilderness" for the added efficiency.

If that were the "heart of the issue", the answer would be "no", use of motorized equipment in Wilderness cannot be justified by "added efficiency".

The issue is 1) what is the minimum requirement for administration of the area as Wilderness, 2) what alternatives are available to achieve that requirement, and 3) what are the impacts of each alternative on wilderness character?

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timberghost
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PostThu Dec 22, 2016 5:57 am 
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Interesting points on both sides. I support the use of chainsaws in wilderness areas. Very useful in the building of new trails like the Wild Sky wilderness which doesn't fit into the true definition of a Wilderness area. The USFS quote the substantial cost of new trail construction which is probably a result man hours. This could be reduced using a chain saw.
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Dec 22, 2016 7:58 am 
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timberghost wrote:
Interesting points on both sides. I support the use of chainsaws in wilderness areas. Very useful in the building of new trails like the Wild Sky wilderness which doesn't fit into the true definition of a Wilderness area. The USFS quote the substantial cost of new trail construction which is probably a result man hours. This could be reduced using a chain saw.

Backhoes, motorized wheelbarrows and for that matter helicopters also reduce the amount of labor required to build and maintain trails.   Congress and federal regulations have drawn the line at motorized equipment within wilderness boundaries,  unless a study is made showing that motorized equipment is necessary for a specific job.

I think a federal rule change to allow chainsaws and other motorized equipment to be used without requiring a study for each job would certainly be challenged in court and I believe that challenge would be sustained -- as it was in the Green Mountain Lookout case.

Congress could amend the law -- I would oppose such an amendment and I generally oppose any congressional tinkering with the Wilderness Act that would lessen wilderness protection.   At least in the current political climate -- which seems more inclined to opened up and an all federal lands to oil, gas and other sorts development -- or simply selling off federal lands for next to nothing to the largest campaign contributor.
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Dec 22, 2016 8:05 am 
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IdahoHyker wrote:
If so, why can or do we live with them using chainsaws in the same wilderness covered by the same Wilderness Act as all the other agencies?

USFS lands are managed by the Department of Agriculture
NPS lands are managed by the Department of Interior.

Technically "wilderness" within a National Park were created and are governed by a different set laws and federal regulations -- which are similar to, but not precisely the same as the laws and federal regulations that apply to congressionally designated "Wilderness Areas" on lands managed by the USFS.
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PostFri Jan 13, 2017 5:27 am 
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The Wilderness Act has already been TINKERED with on the Wild Sky Wilderness area. I see no problem having the local Ranger Districts controlling the chainsaw use in their area as long as its done by or under their supervision.
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RodF
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PostFri Jan 13, 2017 2:45 pm 
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timberghost wrote:
The Wilderness Act has already been TINKERED with on the Wild Sky Wilderness area

How so?  I don't see anything in the designation of Wild Sky Wilderness that in any way changes, amends or tinkers with the Wilderness Act.  Like many other wilderness areas, its legislation does include special provisions (for new trails, maintenance of Evergreen Mountain Lookout, use of float planes on Lake Isabel, use of roads to access private inholdings, use of helicopter to access Lyman Lake SNOTEL, etc.).  Many other wilderness areas have similar special provisions for pre-existing roads, dams, power lines, airports, etc.  None of these change the Wilderness Act.

The Wilderness Act does not prohibit chainsaw use.  It reads "except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act... there shall be no... motorized equipment...  within any such area."

This is not a blanket prohibition.  If chainsaws are necessary, they may be used.

This is not a blanket permission.  They can only be used when determined necessary.

The Wilderness Act was intentionally written to allow this flexibility.  Congress intended that the agencies use this flexibility.

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PostSat Feb 04, 2017 2:36 am 
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RodF wrote:
The Wilderness Act does not prohibit chainsaw use.  It reads "except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act... there shall be no... motorized equipment...  within any such area."

This is not a blanket prohibition.  If chainsaws are necessary, they may be used.

This is not a blanket permission.  They can only be used when determined necessary.

The Wilderness Act was intentionally written to allow this flexibility.  Congress intended that the agencies use this flexibility.

Rod, come on....

You didn't really expect anybody here was actually going to read that part of the sentence in the bill, did you?
They just see what they want to see, and if you try to explain facts they just come back with more smart-ass responses, like a couple of those just above.
Typical tripe.
I guess it's too tall an order to expect people to actually try to comprehend the language in a bill when it's so much easier to just make up the definitions that suit your personal agenda out of thin air.

BK

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treeswarper
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PostSat Feb 04, 2017 6:45 am 
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An anecdote not meant to be "smart ass".  Well, I tried to use my hand saws the other day here at home.  I had dinged up the chain on the Barbie saw pretty good and would have to file it or put another chain on.  I started sawing by hand on some long chunks of wood that I'd thrown in my pickup instead of sawing them into stove lengths.  I got one chunk done and then had the Barbie saw out and with some filing, got the chain sharp and then did the rest--motorized.  I think the time spent filing probably equaled the time that would be spent sawing, but I was happier.

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